North Wales’ aspiration to become a leader in digital innovation has been reinforced this week with the approval of the outline business case for Bangor University’s Digital Signal Processing (DSP) project.
The decision made by the North Wales Economic Ambition Board (Economic Ambition Board) brings the DSP project a step closer to securing £3 million North Wales Growth Deal investment. It is the first project under the Growth Deal’s Digital Connectivity programme to reach this milestone.
This investment will enable researchers at Bangor University to work alongside high-profile international companies and local SMEs to explore disruptive solutions for 5G. This means developing innovations that change the way consumers and businesses operate and use technology - creating up to 40 new jobs along the way.
Cllr Mark Pritchard, Leader of Wrexham County Borough Council and Lead Member for the Economic Ambition Board’s Digital Connectivity programme said: “The work carried out at the DSP Centre is truly pioneering and will make a difference to the way we connect with each other and how we use 5G and communications technology”.
“We were pleased to approve the outline business case because investment in the DSP facility supports North Wales to drive important innovation forward, create new jobs and be recognised as a major player in the digital sector.”
As demand for digital services continues to rise, researchers at the DSP Centre work to future-proof current systems by looking at how real-world data is processed in the virtual world. This facility is the only research site in the UK dedicated to addressing DSP technology for 5G and beyond and it is already working alongside 28 pioneering industry partners to deliver different projects.
Bangor University Vice Chancellor, Professor Iwan Davies, said: “The DSP Centre is a prime example of how Bangor University is collaborating with industry and other academic institutions to develop solutions to address real-world problems through world-class research and development.”
Having worked with big names in industry including Ciena, Orange, Fujitsu and BT, the centre has filed eight patents and secured research grants totalling £12m. With its track record and further investment from the North Wales Growth Deal, the DSP Centre will expand its research capacity through acquiring additional cutting-edge equipment.
It is expected that the Economic Ambition Board will consider the full business case early in December.
1. North Wales Growth Deal is a £1 billion investment to the region’s economy, £240m of which is funded by the Welsh Government and UK Government.
2. The North Wales Economic Ambition Board is the decision-making body for the Growth Deal and is a partnership between the six north Wales local authorities and the region’s educational institutions.
3. The DSP Center at Bangor University has been set up to transfer market-driven research and development to new products, processes and services for digital communications. It has already received £ 6 in ERDF funding to build on the international profile and success of Bangor University's Optical Communications and Research Group (OCRG). The Center has developed a reputation as one of the leading DSP facilities in the UK and globally. The Growth Plan investment will allow the Center to purchase testing equipment that will enhance its ability to work with industry on important research and innovation projects. Digital signal processing is an important part of the digital economy - it shares real-world information and processing in the virtual world and is an essential technology for 4.0 and 5G industry.
4. Outline Business Case: an initial approval to commence to the next stage and start the procurement process.
5. Full Business Case: the final investment decision once a project has completed all necessary consenting and procurement activity.